Greek FM, Nikos Kotzias attends the Dubrovnik Forum 2018 – Migration, Terrorism top the agenda

Greek FM, Nikos Kotzias attends the Dubrovnik Forum 2018 – Migration, Terrorism top the agenda
Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikos Kotzias will participate at the thirteenth annual international conference Dubrovnik Forum 2018, which is held in Dubrovnik Croatia, on September 1st. The main topics of discussion will be illegal migration, terrorism, climate change and an array of asymmetric threats that are increasingly testing Europe and the wider Mediterranean area on political, security, economic, social and cultural level.
The Forum is titled “Strengthening Resilience – The Mediterranean , Europe , and the Western Balkans”. High government and international organisations’ officials as well as academics will also participate.
“The European Union is taking the lead in successfully addressing these challenges, but the cooperation of all stakeholders in the area and reliance on transatlantic cooperation remain crucial. In order to strengthen our overall resilience, we must also continue to nurture our fundamental values – those of human rights, democratic standards and principles of good governance. Deepening market integration and expanding business, trade and financial coordination, as well as improving overall connectivity – transport, energy, digital, economic and people-to-people – is crucial to achieving this goal.”
Nikos Kotzias will be one of the main speakers of the first panel, titled “Defining Challenges – Considering Solutions” which will be about the definition of challenges and the formulation of solutions.

There will also be two more panels: Increasing Crisis Resilience through Improved Interconnectivity and  Increasing Crisis Resilience by Countering Fake News and Media Manipulation.

Panel 1: «Defining challenges – considering solutions»

This panel provides an opportunity for a discussion on challenges generated from the current crises in the Mediterranean: in what ways these crises affect Europe and the Western Balkans in particular. In substance, seven decades of European integration has been a permanent crisis management endeavour. It is critically important that the same means and ways that have been so successful in bringing peace and prosperity to the European continent, continue to be employed in the region of the Western Balkans. Today, Europe is in many ways defended in the Western Balkans. Speeding up resolution to the war legacy opened issues is an obvious prerequisite for further integration of the region to the EU. Obviously, the crisis resilience can be increased by improving the system of governance, strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption and organized crime, freeing market economy from the grip of politics, as well as through an enhanced infrastructural interconnectivity. The Adriatic – Mediterranean Area is geographically a meeting point and crossroads of the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Geopolitically, it is an area of multifaceted regional and global challenges as well as opportunities – political, security, social and economic.

Panel 2: «Strengthening resilience through improved infrastructural interconnectivity»

Transportation corridors, energy or telecommunication infrastructure – a progressively increased interconnectivity among countries makes their economies more interdependent, but also more integrated and resilient to political conflicts. Unless political and legal integration is matched by infrastructural integration, the divisions in Europe will only deepen in the future, tampering the overall Europe resilience to crisis. If there is an agreement on the need to extend such infrastructural connectivity to the WB area, the key is to secure international bankability of these projects, i.e., there is a need for further regulatory integration in this regard. This would facilitate cross-border investments into infrastructure and other projects. The success requires overcoming the differences of national systems and practice of financing.

Panel 3 :«Strengthening resilience by countermining fake news and media manipulation»

The effectiveness of any democracy and of any effective decision making depends on accurate information. The abuse of information, especially in the domain of social networks media as means of sowing distorted and fake information, has already shown dire consequences in the political life of our nations. Such threat is serious and already palpable. Internet trolling, the use of bot software in social networks accounts and the manipulation based on private data mining, make our public space vulnerable to uncontrolled foreign and domestic malign influences. The question is how to prevent that malignancy without compromising the freedom of expression and information as well as useful accessibility to data. ….. / IBNA